Friday, January 3, 2014
Derek Wolfe will return to practice Monday
By Jeff Legwold
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos head coach John Fox said Friday he expects defensive end Derek Wolfe to return to practice Monday.
And that would mean when the Broncos return to the practice field Monday they will have every player on the 53-man roster in uniform participating as they prepare for the divisional round. While that doesn’t help them bring back some of their front-line starters already on injured reserve like defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson and linebacker Von Miller, it does mean the current Broncos are about as healthy as they can be heading into the postseason.
Wolfe was the only player who did not take part in the team’s two practices this week.
The Broncos are on a bye in the wild-card round and will open postseason play Jan. 12 against the AFC’s lowest remaining seed in Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos did not have to release an injury report this week and Fox declined to say how much specific players worked in team drills this week.
But when asked about Wolfe following Friday’s practice, Fox said: "He’ll be back Monday."
Wolfe has not played since suffering "seizure-like symptoms" Nov. 29 on the team’s bus ride to the airport for a trip to Kansas City. He took part in the Broncos’ Christmas Day practice, missed the next day with the flu and then practiced on a limited basis last Friday.
Wolfe stayed home when the Broncos went to Oakland for the regular-season finale and has not practiced this week. In Wolfe's absence, Malik Jackson's snap count has risen some, as has Mitch Unrein's as the Broncos have had to mix-and-match a little more in the defensive front to replace Wolfe, who plays extensively at both defensive end and defensive tackle in the Broncos' variety of defensive looks.
Last season, Wolfe's rookie year, Elvis Dumervil was the only defensive lineman to play more snaps than Wolfe's 903, so his absence has forced plenty of adjustments.
The Broncos have put Wolfe through some conditioning work in recent weeks and the Broncos have seen enough to have kept him on the active roster to this point. But as far as how much he will play when he returns to the lineup is still to be determined.